RDNO loses senior staff

A major transition is looming at the Regional District of North Okanagan.

A major transition is looming at the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Two senior managers — Al McNiven and Arnold Badke — have given their retirement notices for September.

“They are very competent and capable individuals and those will be hard shoes to fill,” said Herman Halvorson, board chairperson.

Between the City of Vernon and the regional district, McNiven has been involved in local parks, recreation and culture issues for the last 25 years.

“With a job like this, you meet lots of people and work with lots of community organizations, which was quite pleasant,” said McNiven.

During McNiven’s time, the regional district has moved ahead with the Wesbild Centre, the Performing Arts Centre, new parks and trails in Greater Vernon and a new master parks plan for Lumby.

While he has enjoyed his duties, McNiven says he is looking forward to new opportunities.

“I’ve been here a long time and I’ve been  thinking about retirement for a long time. I’m ready to go,” he said.

Badke, who was unavailable for comment, has been general manager of engineering for a year.

Among his duties has been bringing the Duteau Creek water treatment plant online and establishing drought preparedness guidelines.

Director Wayne Lippert believes the regional district has benefitted from Badke and McNiven.

“I am sorry to see both go but they are at a stage in their life, where they can both retire,” said Lippert.

With McNiven’s last day set for Sept. 2 and Badke departing at the end of September, a decision on succession must be established.

“It’s a little early in the process but I expect we’ll be advertising because they are key positions,” said Halvorson.

One of the challenges facing RDNO is the number of initiatives currently underway, including the Greater Vernon master water plan, a proposed sports complex next to Okanagan College and possible reorganization of Greater Vernon’s parks, recreation and culture function.

“They are retiring at a very busy time in history of the regional district,” said Trafford Hall, who came on board as RDNO administrator a month ago.